← ESA 2015 homepage

Experiences of Work at Old Age and Retirement


Thu 27. 8.  14:00 - 15:30
room FA 202

Senior competence in a workplace setting


Hilsen, Anne Inga
Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway

Active ageing is about recognizing and valuing senior resources in working life. A step towards this goal is to promote an awareness of the potentials and resources of older employees, and thus prevent forced early exclusion from working life. If age and experience makes older workers valuable in working life, we need to understand in which ways this “senior competence” is valuable. The competence of seniors is valuable for the enterprises for being more than and different from, the theoretical knowledge of e.g. employees straight out of schools and universities. In addition to the theoretical knowledge, seniors have practical knowledge acquired through experience. Göranzon (1990) argues that the practical and tacit knowledge of experienced workers is a necessary resource for good production. What this practical and tacit knowledge consists of and how it is being used needs to be explored in a workplace setting as it will vary with types of jobs and work tasks. The empirical data for this exploration is a series of group interviews in a large Norwegian hospital over a period of three years. The question discussed was: “What are the particular senior competences in this workplace and how/when is it being used?”